Dealing with Deposits

dealing with deposits_miniAs a mobile hair extensionist, you will need to become comfortable with asking your potential clients for a deposit during your consultation with them, as this forms a fundamental aspect of your business model.  As you will be required to purchase the hair for your client ahead of the fitting, you will need to be sure that your customer is serious about the appointment to avoid cancelling at the last moment and leaving you out of pocket.  Having said this, it is difficult to decide on how to approach this subject so that your customer is comfortable parting with a deposit ahead of schedule, and you are comfortable asking for it.

Here we will outline some tips and advice on how to approach the subject of a deposit with clients, as well as discussing the value of your deposit, and pros and cons of each option.

Letting Your Hair Extension Client Know You Require A Deposit

Nobody really likes to talk about money, especially when you are the one asking another to part with their cash, therefore it is good practise to get into the habit of prepping your client ahead of schedule so that when it comes to the moment of asking for the money it is less awkward for both parties.  Of course you have nothing to feel awkward about, taking a deposit is standard practise for this type of service, but none the less some of us just don’t like talking about money.

Capital_One_Venture_Rewards_reviewThe best way to approach this issue is in your initial arrangements for the consultation.  Whether this be over the phone or via email, outline with your client what a consultation involves including the need for a deposit.  In a very friendly manner you can explain to your client that typically consultations last for 20-30 minutes for example, and are an opportunity for them to ask as many questions as they like about the hair extensions and the fitting.  It will be a chance for you to colour match their hair, show samples, and to put down a deposit should they wish to.  This is a nice, gentle way to let the client know that if they wish to book in with you, a deposit will be required on the day of the consultation.  You may also want to detail for the client the way in which a deposit can be taken e.g. I am able to accept payment for the deposit via cash or online bank transfer, and the value of the deposit e.g. I would require a deposit of £xxx to secure your appointment.

Why Do You Need To Take A Deposit During A Hair Extension Consultation

A date circled on a calendar.Rather than explaining to the client that you require the deposit to purchase their hair, it is worth considering explaining that the reason for the deposit is in fact to secure their fitting date.  In other words, your client is booking in for a time slot with you on a specific day, and by paying a deposit you are guaranteeing them this spot.  By saying that the deposit is for the cost of the hair, this will provide an insight for your client into how much money you are spending on the hair, which may not reflect the actual cost, and therefore may form the wrong opinion of your services in your clients mind.  For example, if you charge £300 for a full head of 18” hair extensions and ask for a deposit of £50.00, your client may assume that the hair they are getting only costs you £50.00 which is unlikely to be true, as you may be putting your own money towards the purchase of the extensions as a way of reducing the deposit amount for your client out of kindness and to help secure the deposit there and then.  By explaining it is to secure the fitting date this will shift the focus away from the deposit being for the cost of the hair, but rather a commitment between you and your client that they are booking in for the service on a particular day, and this will be dedicated to them.  Whilst deposits are generally used to help with the cost of the hair, they also show a level of commitment from your client so you can feel confident in making the purchase, even if a proportion of the cost is being paid by yourself.

Value Of The Deposit Taken In Hair Extension Consultations

The value of the deposit you take is a personal choice, however there are a few things to take into consideration when setting a price.

Taking a 50% Deposit For Hair Extensions

50You may decide to ask your clients for a 50% deposit for their hair extensions.  By asking for 50% of the prices you charge this should cover a significant percentage of your costs in terms of ordering the hair, and is a fair amount to ask for in terms of your client showing commitment to the fitting.  The down sides of asking for 50% however is that they may be uncomfortable parting with this amount of money to somebody they do not know very well yet.  The amount you ask for from each client will also change depending on the length they select, therefore prepping them before hand with an exact amount will not always be possible or 100%.

Taking A Set Price Deposit – Covering The Cost Of The Hair Extensions

By having a set price this means you are able to prep your client beforehand, letting them know the exact cost of the deposit.  This can be as little or as much as you feel comfortable with, however we would suggest that the amount is high enough for you to be able to comfortably pay for the client’s hair. For example, if you need to pay £120.00 for materials for a full head of 18” stick tip hair extensions, therefore asking for a deposit of £130 will comfortably pay for the majority of hair extensions, and the return costs to the supplier if the client was to cancel.

invoiceHowever, there are down sides to this option in that your client may not feel comfortable handing over this amount of money on your first meeting and you may find that less of your consultations convert into fittings.  Having said this, many hair extensionists work using this method without issue – you just need to find what works in your area, as each will be different, and there is no wrong or right answer in terms of the deposit value.

Taking A Bare Minimum Hair Extension Deposit

If you have had a few consultations where a booking has not been made and you feel that this is due to the deposit, or you work in an area where deposits for some reason are hard to ask for, you can ask for the bare minimum however this does come with risks.  By bare minimum this would be the amount that would cover you for any losses.  As long as the hair is unopened, most suppliers will accept it back for a refund minus postage costs, therefore you will need to take a deposit that covers the cost of sending the hair to you from the supplier, and the cost of returning it to the supplier.  Our standard delivery service is £6.99, and it would cost around the same to return the hair to us in the event of a return.  There are however unforeseen circumstances that can occur due to postal cost increases from couriers for example, therefore we would suggest a minimum of £20.00 should be requested from the customer.  In this case you would of course explain as detailed above that this is the secure the fitting date, and it is also non-refundable.

By having a deposit cost so low, this should encourage more customers to book in and will not leave you out of pocket if they cancel, however you will need to have some funds of your own to help you out at the start with ordering hair for your clients before the full payment has been made.  We would suggest you would need around £300.00 in your account which would cover you for 2 hair client orders.  As soon as the fitting takes place and your client has paid for the service this will then go back into your bank account to help pay for the next customer, as well as the profit you have made.

This is a slightly riskier strategy, however if your clients simply do not respond well to being asked for large deposits this will ensure you still take bookings and your business can grow.

Taking No Deposit From Your Hair Extension Clients

$(KGrHqEOKooFF0ofrGy1BRfbQLoy2!~~60_12The final option is to take no deposit from your client, but advise them that they will need to buy their own hair and you will simply fit it for them.  This takes the pressure away from you in having to ask for a deposit and part with the cash to purchase the hair, however it opens you up to other problems.  The first issue you will encounter is that by asking your client to buy their own hair they will know exactly how much you are charging for the fitting, and therefore your prices must be completely transparent and fair.  Your client may also cut corners and purchase low quality hair, or may order the incorrect colour, therefore you will need to dictate to your client that they should only purchase hair from a certain supplier, or advise them that you will only be able to guarantee the quality of the fitting, and not the quality of the hair.   This method also shows no commitment from your client, therefore if you block out a whole morning in your diary and they cancel at the last minute because somebody else has said they will fit them at a lower price, you may have been able to fill that time slot with another client who has been asking you to fit them in, and therefore this will result in a loss of earnings.

This is a strategy that is used by some, however due to its many downsides we would suggest that this is a last resort only.  Your clients are walking talking advertisements for your services, therefore the quality of the hair is very important to your business and you will receive more referrals and recommendations if the hair looks and feels amazing as opposed to cheap and cheerful.

Different Areas Of The Country Will Require a Different Deposit Strategy For A Hair Extension Business

Each and every area will be different, as will each and every client you encounter, therefore ensuring that you’re comfortable and happy with your deposit strategy will help you get your consultations converting into fittings, and that you are not left out of pocket if a client is to cancel her hair extensions appointment.  You may choose to mix and match your strategy depending on the individual needs of your client, or you may choose to stick to one strategy that works for you.  Whatever you choose, this advice should help you to feel more comfortable asking your client for a deposit, and that it is perfectly reasonable to ask for this from them as it is essential to running your business successfully.

SimplyHair Trade Account

As you a new mobile hair extension business?  Are you thinking of introducing hair extension services into your salon?  At SimplyHair not only do we offer very competitive pricing, we also offer an exclusive trade discount to our professional customers.

A trade account is quick and easy to set up, simply click on the image below to submit your application and we will aim to have your account activated within 1 working day.